Fresh twist in Newcastle United’s pursuit of James Maddison with alternative target ‘identified’

Newcastle United are reportedly looking at potential alternatives to Leicester City’s James Maddison this January.

Newcastle have been strongly linked with a move for Maddison after having two transfer bids rejected by Leicester in the summer. The Gazette understands The Magpies chances of landing the England international in January are growing increasingly unlikely with The Foxes not willing to sell the influential attacking-midfielder.

United head coach Eddie Howe has also pointed to the club having to manage Financial Fair Play restrictions in January, suggesting a more conservative spend is in order. Newcastle may look to offload players in January in order to make room for any new signings.

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"We can’t predict what is going to happen with our own squad at times, in terms of fitness and availability, so we do need to be ready to act if we need to,” Howe said.

James Maddison of England reacts during the England Training Session on match day -1 at Al Wakrah Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)James Maddison of England reacts during the England Training Session on match day -1 at Al Wakrah Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
James Maddison of England reacts during the England Training Session on match day -1 at Al Wakrah Stadium on November 28, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)
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And Real Beits’ Nabil Fekir has once again emerged as a potential target for Newcastle. The French attacking-midfielder was previously linked with a move to Tyneside shortly after the club’s £305milllion takeover last October.

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Ultimately, the player signed a new contract at Real Beits until the summer of 2026 with the deal including a release clause worth roughly £86million. Although Newcastle would not entertain a fee close to Fekir’s release clause, The Sunday Mirror claimed that the Premier League side have identified the Real Betis star as a potential alternative should their pursuit of Maddison prove unsuccessful once more.

The 29-year-old has played 11 matches this season in all competitions, scoring three times.